paidContent founder and reporter Rafat Ali is leaving the company in July to travel and plot his next move.
Peter Kafka broke the news on All Things D this morning.
We emailed Ali to ask about what his plans were, but he appeared to be out and about at the moment: “it always happens on a Friday, while in transit…“
(He wrote us back from his iPad to say he was on a train with bad phone reception.)
Sounds like there are some world travels in his immediate future, and then, probably another startup. (He founded paidContent, an influential digital news site, in 2002, and sold it to Guardian Media in 2008 as part of a $30 million deal that probably earned Ali and his investors around $12 million.)
As for my future, the honest answer is, I am in the middle of figuring it out. The good part is I have lots of choices; the bad part is that I have lots of choices. Very likely it will be another startup, in a larger media and marketing space. But in the immediate future, you will see my head pop up in places like Iceland, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Socotra Island (Google it!) and other parts of Central Asia. That’s the head-clearing trip of a lifetime, for the summer months after I finish here.
Guardian News & Media and ContentNext today announced that ContentNext Founder and Editor Rafat Ali will be leaving the company at the beginning of July. Rafat Ali started paidContent as a blog in 2002, and later added three other sites, paidContent.uk, mocoNews and contentSutra, before the business was purchased by Guardian News & Media in 2008. ContentNext now has some 600,000 unique users and its websites, with their blend of news and analysis, are a must read for senior executives in the media, entertainment, publishing, advertising, mobile, marketing and technology sectors.
Tim Brooks, Managing Director of Guardian News & Media, said: ” As anyone who follows the company and reads our sites knows, Rafat has done an amazing job of building ContentNext from the ground up and we wish him every success in the future.”
Ernie Sander, who has been the managing editor at ContentNext for the past 18 months, will assume a wider strategic role. Co-editor Staci Kramer, Rafat’s first hire at the company, will continue to be a thought leader on and off the site.
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